This Week in Milford

May 18, 2022

Time, Limp!

Today’s baseball history lesson is the story of Jackie Hayes. Hayes, a shortstop on Wallace Wade’s Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team (yes, Wade coached baseball in addition to football at the time), got his start in the majors in 1928 as a utility infielder for the original AL Senators. Having been awarded the starting second base job for 1929 by the Nats’ new manager, future Hall-of-Famer Walter Johnson, Jackie would lose that job to Buddy Myer, a .300-plus hitter who Washington had reacquired after an ill-advised trade to the Red Sox. While Hayes was the better glove man, Myer was the better hitter and baserunner (he led the AL in stolen bases in ’28 for Boston and would win the AL batting crown in ’35 for Washington). After two more seasons playing sporadically for the Nats, Hayes was traded to the White Sox in a multi-player deal.

While still a great fielder, Hayes struggled with injuries on the South Side, including several beanings; in two seasons where he managed to stay healthy, he hit over .300. Things would take a turn for the worse during spring training 1940. After a shower one afternoon, he felt as if he had soap in his right eye. The next day his vision was blurry, and the club sent him back to Chicago for treatment. After several misdiagnoses and no relief from deteriorating vision, Jackie Hayes would be diagnosed with glaucoma.

Hayes wouldn’t give up. He played in a handful of games, but didn’t start for the first time until August 21 when, wearing a makeshift helmet with ear flaps and closing his right eye when he stepped into the batter’s box, he went 2-for-3. Hayes batted .195 in 18 games for the White Sox and retired after the 1940 season. He would go blind in his right eye soon thereafter and went completely blind in 1943, but he did manage to have a productive life after baseball, serving as a county tax collector and occasional visitor to local and regional schools for the blind as a motivational speaker. Still, Jackie Hayes will always be remembered as the first major league baseball player to wear a protective helmet.

The Hammer’s apparent obliviousness to the comebacker whizzing past his right ear made me wonder if wasn’t already completely blind in his right eye, which triggered my memories of Jackie Hayes. Wonder if Gil could track down one of those padded caps offered to MLB pitchers a few years ago for Gregg, the ones that made them look like the Great Gazoo. I think only Alex Torres ever wore one in a regular season game, so there’s probably a bunch lying around some equipment manager’s cage somewhere.

Finally catching a clue that something is wrong with the Hammer on the bump, Gil quickly tells the suddenly popular Morrison to hit the showers and wait for him with a loofah to get hot fast. Without adequate warmup, there’ll soon be another Mudlark pitcher out with an injury, and Gil’s 10-3 record will be gone quicker than you can say “lemonade on the back porch.” Of course Gil will lay into Gregg before realizing the true extent of the situation and turning his wrath to Papa Hamm. Why Kaz is being spared for letting Scooter Pie talk him out of fielding practice for the Hammer is beyond me, and yet another of the gaps in this plot as massive as the ones left after an infield shift.

May 17, 2022

(Ahem) Speaking Of Being Late, Gil.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 11:53 am

Who is minding the store around here? Remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Brad (Judge Reinhold) is working at a convenience store and some maniac robber comes in to hold up the store? Brad is blatantly clueless as he desperately tries to dig out money out of the cash drawer, the maniac threatening to pull the trigger anytime, and probably would but Spicoli (Sean Penn) walks in, unbeknownst to what’s going on. That’s Brad’s window of opportunity as the maniac is distracted, enabling Brad to fling hot water out of a brewing coffee pot at the maniac’s eyes. Justice is served.

That’s really what we need to do with the art and plot, take your pick which one you want to throw the scalding water at first, one is working hand-in-hand incompetently with the other.

Let’s knock out what is more obvious than meets the eye. 38 almost has to mean 3rd base and Ron Cey (The Penguin, baby-shoulda seen that penguin gait when he was trying to stretch a hit into a double) handled a lot of choppers in his day at that position, either when he was with the Dodgers or the Cubs. We’ll put this one to bed because I’m going to give Thorpiverse the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think T-verse had “high chopper to the center fielder” in mind when describing the action. Can you imagine Harry Caray after 10 Buds sloshing out “Thersh a smash to the catcher”? And c’mon, there’s a base right there, and you only have 3 of them plus home plate. Again, there’s no high chopper to home plate that I’m aware of, so take your pick, first, second, or third. I’m picking third.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. As the readers have mentioned, there’s no baseline at the base and I never try to intrude on my colleagues’ posts because I think they’re hilarious anyway but in order to illustrate my point, I have to point out that picture where (presumably) Lehto is fielding the ball. It actually looks like where 2nd could be and evidently the artwork never took into account there are baselines when you start the game. But hey, maybe they didn’t have kids like the readers at TWIM did that played baseball so details like that are similar to a teenager not using Clearasil to zap his zits because he’ll get a date to the prom anyway. Good thinking. You got more pimples than Gil’s absences on your face, no problem, she’ll slow dance with you to Alan Parsons Project’s “Time Keeps Flowing Like A River” when the lights dim low. And Gil came back to the game after his consultation with the IRS. It wasn’t deemed tax evasion this time, thank goodness.

Here’s where Gregg Hamm enters the picture. Since he’s right-handed (this week anyway) , it would only be logical that he’s in a better position to field balls such as slow rollers, high choppers, flares, bunt attempts from the right side. And in a perfect world, Gregg would field aforementioned situations, throw cleanly to first, inning over.

Were it only that simple in Thorpiverse. We never really know that the ball really should have been fielded by Hamm until Gil himself shows up in P2 after using all his sick days that the union negotiated with Thorpiverse over and expresses his bitching in the disguise of concern. We are left with bases that are out of order, .38 Special singing “So Caught Up In You” rather than Hamm taking the mike, and if that’s not enough, New Thayer stealing Milford’s uniforms. Well, that’s what happens when Gil is hors de combat because he really doesn’t give a hang and therefore is a non-entity, again, nobody is minding the store.

As long as I am compelled to break down what a baseball diamond should look like (bleachers right behind 2nd base?) , I have job security for as long as the readers keep me on staff. I thought Alice in Wonderland was confusing.

And with Gil disappearing on us, you KNOW it was only a matter of time before Gil-sightings were going to be a common occurence, certainly as common as third base being where second base normally is and outfield fences right behind the pitcher’s mound. Dude, if Hamm is blind, I’d hate for him to crash into the wall on a comebacker to the mound. Pop-ups to the pitcher at the warning track? Artwork in Thorpiverse at its premium. Anyway

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Swears He Saw Gil And Elvis Recently In Milford!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I saw them both at The Diner. Gil ordered poached eggs, Elvis ordered a BLT. Maureen took their order. Gil’s a lousy tipper, BTW. Gave her an autographed catcher’s mitt.”

May 16, 2022

Heather Burns Is Impressed

Filed under: actual action, baseball, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Mimi Thorp, New Thayer — nedryerson @ 8:35 pm

The Thorps are relaxing at home with some coffee and the morning paper. Hey Gil, your team is off to a ten and three start! Say, that’s pretty darn good. Yeah, Heather Burns thinks that’s hot! Oh no! My pinky is looking weird again and I can barely hold on to this supposed newspaper and neither one of us can focus our eyes, so let’s go back to bed until say, June. Sounds good. Wake me up when it’s time for lemonade.

Meanwhile, Half Blind Hamm is back on the bump against New Thayer. It’s a chopper to the left side. Is that good or bad for Hamm? As long as he’s not trying to field it, so what. Guys are going to hit choppers, and dribblers, and squibs, and grounders, and bloopers, and comebackers. It depends on what you do with them. We’ll find out what happens to the chopper later.

May 14, 2022

It takes two to lie: one to lie and the other to grow his sideburns.

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get today’s post up, but I’ve been at an absolute loss as to how to spin it. This has surely got to be the tipping point for this strip, right?

There are no adults coaching the Milford High baseball team, are there? There are just male chaperones who just sit back and let the kids do whatever they want, up to and including not practicing? You notice we almost never see practices at Milford except as they’re ending, when the players are standing around listening to to adults or going over to watch their opposite-sex counterparts play a game? I’d bet Whigrub have no clue what goes on in a practice.

This is just beyond the realm of stupid. This is so asinine it makes me not want to nitpick the usual lack of attention to detail, like the uncolored lights on the school bus or the long day’s journey into night from Valley Tech to Milford. I will nitpick this: there is no way you can wear a cap backwards sitting in a car seat with headrests without knocking the cap off of your head.

Have at it, gentle readers. The more I look at today’s strip, the more it makes my head hurt.

May 13, 2022

More blind advice

Filed under: ?, baseball, Milford Idiots, Milford Weirdos — robmize2013 @ 8:34 pm

Well we got through another game with One- Eyed Jack fumbling around with balls hit to him; we have a new hero in Andy Morrison, whose name is so common I didnt bother googling him. Suffice to say he’s not Jim’s son. Although he could have been. (You figure he was born around 2005, Jim would have been 62 that year and Mick Jagger was 74 when he had his last kid 4 years ago. So its…possible…)

These guys wearing jeans — most baseball players wear athletic pants to their games. If not their uniforms. Im sure I saw our high school team on the road more then once and they wore their uniforms to the games. Damn it, they didnt retreat to a locker room after the game— they went from the bus to the dugout and back. Its not football. Baseball uniforms are very normal attire for a day. Whats with all the changing clothes anyway for a baseball game?? Where are all the uniforms? In their dinky backpacks?

And P3 we have One- Eyed Jack hoping Gil doesnt make him work on something in practice THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING ON SINCE FREAKIN DAY ONE OF SPRING PRACTICE FOR AT LEAST A HALF HOUR EACH DAY. That way Gil could have figured out this dope cant see a drop of bird shit on home plate until he slips on it.

And of course Stat Boy has another brilliant idea to delay the inevitable reveal of OEJ’s vision problem. We’ll get a glimpse (no pun intended) of that tomorrow.

By then everyones uniform will have shrunk 2 sizes on the bus ride home.

May 12, 2022

That Gil You Do.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 1:28 pm

You

Doing that Gil you do

Breakin’ this plot into a million pieces

Like you always do

And you

Intend this to be cruel

You never even catch on about the headache

We’ve been poring through

Well, we’re pleading and try to forget you, Gil

But it’s just so hard to do

Everytime you do that Gil you do

Thank you, Philip and Billy for your votes of confidence. It means the world to me and keeps me going.

That said, Thorpiverse, you force me to rip the robe off and tighten the boxing gloves and enter the ring with a vengeance.

I am not denying the stat about Nolan Ryan and it wouldn’t terribly surprise me. Basically, if we’re rounding off the math, out of 100 chances, he mishandled 10 of those. By comparison, Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton only muffed 4-5 of those opportunities. And that’s as close to apples as you could approach with oranges. As I believe Mark Twain once stated “There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Ryan only knew one speed while Carlton and Seaver were shrewd pitchers who mixed their pitches well. And because of that, they may not have always struck out batters, but as Joe Garigiola once pointed out “A successful pitcher will always keep the batter off-stride”. That was Carlton and Seaver incarnate. Even if you made contact with the ball, it wasn’t good contact and many times the ball was a room-service job that Seaver or Carlton could easily throw to 1st base. Factor in Carlton’s pick-off moves, and with that tall lanky frame and his chicanery, you DIDN’T try to steal second, and it’s little wonder that Carlton was one of the greats.

Ryan had no such luxury. A 97MPH fastball that was contacted would COME BACK to the pitcher at 97MPH and remember, T-verse, Ryan was only 60 feet from home plate (okay, 6 more inches to that if ya wanna get chirpy about it) . Comebackers at warp speed were adventures and therefore not always easy to field, let alone throw to first base.

And to follow Philip’s excellent line of reasoning, Ryan was not above throwing chin music, especially if somebody jacked a home run off of him, but he was no different than any other pitcher given that situation. Many pitchers throw brushback pitches in situations like these. And to say Ryan threw at someone’s head when that someone scratched a bunt off of him is about as preposterous as it sounds. Batters were just trying to MAKE CONTACT, so attempting to throw your bat at a 101MPH fastball was out of the question. You pretty much had to swing away. That’s why many of the hits he gave up were home runs because, as mentioned before, a 101MPH offering that was met with solid contact was often going to travel long and fast.

Ryan’s bugbear, T-verse, was not his fielding but his control. When a 101MPH fastball went down Broadway, he pitched a complete-game victory. He set a record at one time for fewest hits allowed per 9 innings (just over 5 hits per 9 innings) . But many years he was in the Top Ten in walks. Batters weren’t about to swing at pitches clearly out of the strike zone because they couldn’t make contact with it anyway. Those nights, Ryan hit the showers in the 3rd or 4th inning. It wasn’t his night. A lot of 18-15 seasons accompanied his career.

To hit this from another perspective would be to bring Bill Buckner into the discussion. He started out with the Dodgers, then later played for the Cubs and Red Sox. Of course, baseball aficionados remember him for his fielding gaffe at 1st base in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I feel it was unfair because, while he was a better hitter (great eye at the plate, rarely struck out) than fielder, he did a few times lead the league in assists (at 1st base) plus his own bugbear was injuries, constantly fighting with mushy knees his whole career. Those knees failed him on that play (IMO, Red Sox manager John McNamara perhaps might have been better to put Dave Stapleton, a defensive specialist, at 1st base) and the rest, as they say, was history. My point is Nolan Ryan would not have muffed that one. Again, he was a fitness fanatic and was able to make plays like that with a minimum of trouble.

Thorpiverse, please quit rewriting history. Gregg Hamm has a problem and it looks like Gil went to the Milford Lounge for All You Can Eat Brain Sandwiches Happy Hour to address that problem. Don’t make Ryan a scapegoat and make him one of Coach Thorp’s assistants. Then again, Ryan would throw chin music at guys like Bobby Howry so keep the Ryan Express on the backburner for now.

At the Mudlark gym

“Here’s a brand new group I bet you’re gonna love. From right here in Milford THE THORPEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“That’s THORPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

What is this with Scooter in P1? He looks like he would fit in Dick Tracy’s Rogues Gallery. Gogglebrain. What an apropos appellation. This is about as ridiculous of artwork as I’ve seen in quite some time. Anybody who remembers reading Little Lotta, Little Audrey, Richie Rich, Little Dot surely remember when the artwork was occasionally a little out of kilter. As if the cartoonists were on vacation and the scabs gave it the old college try but us kids wanted the regular cartoonists to return and make Little Dot look like Little Dot, not Gil Thorp with dots all over his face. Who wanted Little Lotta eating banana splits at Coffee Cantina? That’s what he have today, cartoonists on vacation even if they never left the building. Just slop a black streak over Scooter’s eyes and hope to God they’ll recognize the face. Rolling the dice the wrong way, T-verse. A Nolan Ryan comebacker that ended up a gutterball.

I mean, if I want creatures that stepped off the landing craft behind the concession stand and told Coach Thorp he’s more comfortable playing infield, I’ll watch Lost in Space. I can get my Magic Marker and implement a streak across Dagwood’s upper visage and maybe con somebody into believing I saw the same thing in a Ray Bradbury story. I Sing The Body Scooter, what a plotline.

Oh, let me tell you, you always knew when The Flintstones cartoonists went on strike. There was one episode where Betty Rubble was a trapezoid upside down. That’s pretty much Scooter in P1. Betty Rubble with too much lipstick and Papermate smudged on the set.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“The Thorpes Scheduled To Perform ‘That Gil You Do’ At Milford VFW Memorial Day Dance/Luau!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The Korean Veterans in particular can’t wait to get on the dance floor. ‘That Gil You Do’ has helped boost beer sales.”

Now there you go again, Scooter, spouting statistics that really don’t tie into reality or really aren’t pertinent to Gregg’s situation. Ryan only had trouble with grounders that flew at him based upon the speed of light. The cans of corn he nonchalantly threw to first, inning over. Gregg can’t even catch the can of corn two inches from his face, either at the speed of light or the speed of a lightning bug. As the readers have mentioned over and over, this is something that should have been diagnosed in the preseason, not when it’s clear Gregg can’t even pick up a ping pong ball when it’s bouncing on the ping pong table. Trash talk the Valley Tech runner all you want, Scooter. Gregg needs help and telling the runner his mother wears army boots and shaves with a garden hoe isn’t going to change the landscape where Gregg couldn’t pick up the garden hoe because he is still trying to pick up the ping pong ball bouncing all over the driveway. Need a putter’s aid, Gregg?

Oh, but when Mister Hamm finally convinces the person taking his ticket at the admission gate that he is not Pancho Villa, he might be able to slip Dr. Scholl Prescription Blu-Blockers through the dugout fence. Gregg can catch the ping pong ball because he can see better plus the ultra-violet rays that scorched Scooter’s forehead are blocked. Yeah, stick that in your jock strap and smoke it, Valley Tech runner.

At the backstage of the Milford County Fair

“You will no longer be The Thorpes. It’s too confusing. Thorpees and Slurpees get mixed in and next thing you know, fans think you’re an traveling advertisement for Milford 7-11. From now on, you’ll just be The Thorps.”

“Can we still get free Slurpees, Mr. White?”

“Sure, Gil. You all look good in Mudlark Red, BTW, have I ever told you that?”

We

Know all the games they’ve played

And we’re gonna find a way to let Gil know that

They’ll be toast someday

”Cause we

Would be happy, can’t you see

If Gil only let us be the ones to punt it

Bag it permanently

”Cause we try and try to forget you, Gil

But it’s just so hard to do

Everytime you do that Gil you do

We aren’t letting this Nolan Ryan Couldn’t Field A Question concept die, are we? P2 is continuing this half-story and keeping this comatose story alive, warts and all. Sure, I wanted to keep my 103-year-old (true story, BTW) grandmother alive as long as she still had teeth and eyes and some decent sense of mobility but when it was clear Dentu-Cream wasn’t going to make up for lack of teeth and dentures wasn’t going to address the 103-year-old intestines that were digesting her McDonald’s sausage and biscuits, it was only a matter of time before she met her maker. Going to Pearle Vision Center and indulging in Buy One Pair, Get Reading Glasses Free wasn’t going to alleviate the problem of 103-year-old eyes. Thorpiverse, cut your losses.

“We’ll be touring all the way into September. The fans think you are hot property so you’ll be busy. And you look good in Valley Tech blue, have I ever told you that?”

“Mr. White?”

“Yes, Gil?”

“I have to coach in September.”

“Gil, this is your shot at the Big Show. Besides, you haven’t shown up the last 60 years. Nobody’ll notice.”

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“The Thorps To Perform ‘That Gil You Do’ At Local Event!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tickets Selling Fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Concert to take place at 7th inning stretch in game between Valley Modified and Milford Freshman team, just after Jay’s Subs Catering Service arrives.”

And we not only have to send Nolan Ryan to an early grave, we have to get the Shadow People involved. Nothing like zombies painted black talking about how Ryan combed his hair or what hotel he slept in when they were on the road. This’ll liven things up around here, fer sure. As long as this plot is dying a slow death, we might as well involve creatures from outer space discussing to the death how the Pittsburgh Pirates came from 3-1 down to win the ’79 Series. It’s because Pops Stargell fielded a ton because he threw at manager Chuck Tanner before the games. Omar Moreno had that stork batting stance at the plate because Nolan Ryan couldn’t field a foul ball by the dugout. Dave Parker wore a tutu under his uniform. And Rick Rhoden was Tod Andrews when the latter went on summer vacation. Man, I’m like Thorpiverse, full of ideas and something else I better not print with all the Christian zombies reading this post.

Speaking of Dave Parker and Nolan Ryan, the latter was pitching in the twilight of his career in a game with Durwood Merrill as umpire, who was occasionally taken to task on his reputed Grand Canyon strike zone. After one game, where Ryan rang up 14 K’s, 8 of them on called strike 3′ s, Parker complained loud and long to the press. Rarely ever complaining about the umpires, he got his money’s worth as he got heavily fined for the comments.

Dave Winfield playfully quipped but still drove home the point “Nolan Ryan is a great legend but Durwood’s strike zone made him a lot greater.”

Thorpiverse continues to insult our intelligence in P3 by coming up with stories better suited for bedtime stories. Once upon a time there was this pitcher named Nolan Ryan and the big bad dragon bunted off of him and later scored the tying run. The next time up at the plate our dear Nolan threw at the dragon’s head. The umpire issued a warning.

Boy, that’ll put the kids to beddy bye.

Whatever this obsession with Nolan and The Amazing Technicolor Chin Music, it may not really have any basis in the real world but apparently it will get into the Valley Techster’s head and Milford will go on to win in a blaze of glory like they have since some schmuck back in the 50’s helped Milford win because he told the Techster runner, crew cut and all (’50’s, mind you) , that Ernie Johnson helped the Milwaukee Braves win the ’57 Series because he threw at Mickey Mantle and Tony Kubek every time they attempted a suicide squeeze. The tradition, y’know.

We don’t ask a lot (don’t ask Gil a lot)

But we one thing’s for sure (know Gil’s dumb for sure)

It’s the love we haven’t got, Gil

And we just can’t take it anymore (WHOA!!!!!!!!!)

‘Cause we

Could be happy, can’t you see

We could be the ones to grab you

And hang you to a tree

‘Cause we try and try to forget you, Gil

And it’s painful when we view

Everytime you do that Gil you do

“My land, what the Thorps won’t do for an encore!!!!!!!!!! Wasn’t that drum solo by Guy Patterson off of Gil’s hair a fait d’accomplait? We’ll be back at the Milford Outdoor Amphitheater to wrap up this night for the stars on the King Biscuit/Milford Foundry Flower Hour after these messages.”

In the Thorp’s back yard

WHAM!!!!!!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’ll teach you to bunt off of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next time you try to scoot one down the line, I’ll be throwing at your shoe tops!!!!!!!!!! And wipe that smile off your face!!!!!!!!!”

Mimi and Keri and Jaime are in the living room, watching Milford Championship Pro Wrestling w/ Lance Russell and Dave Brown. Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett are about to implent a Double Arm Bar Vertical Suplex on Mr. Clyde and Freezer Thompson. They hear banging and bonging in the back yard.

“Mommy, who was Morgan Cryin’? Because Daddy said Morgan was going to rip somebody’s jock strap and stuff it in his suitcase.”

“WHAT???? This had better be good!!!!”

In the back yard, Gil is throwing at scarecrows in a simulated batter’s box, using the chess boards for the boxes. Gil is 60′ 6″ and throwing heat at the scarecrows’ crania. In the process, he is working himself into a sexual dither.

“GIL!!!!!!!!!!! What are you doing???? Cease and desist!!!!!!!!!”

“Mimi, I am Nolan Ryan and I won’t let some pussy bunt off of me and get away with it!!!!!!!! I’ll be throwing chin music at Joe Schlabotnik and Buddy Biancalana all day long to send a message to bring your chopped wood to the plate, not a toothpick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I use a toothpick to scrape the olives out of my teeth from that pizza I ate at the Faculty Orgy, not get under the sheets and do battle with my partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, Mickey Mantle, try to jack another one out of The House That Ruth Built, I DARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mommy, why does Daddy hunch the scarecrow after he’s thrown at his head? Does Morgan Cryin’ get that happy when he’s got a hard-on.?

“Keri, that’s Nolan Ryan!!!!!!!!!! And watch your language!!!!!!!!!!!! Gil, this is a disgrace to me and the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Keri, a man has to perform on the mound and in bed. When Dennis Eckersly threw that batting practice pitch to Kirk Gibson in the ’88 Series, I’ll bet it’s because he barely scratched the surface with his wife the night before. You won’t win no Cy Youngs throwing hanging curves with your wim wim when doing business with your wife.”

BAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Take that, Kirk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Betcha won’t even THINK about parking one on my neighbor’s garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mommy, is Kirk Gibson that mean principal at Milford Elementary? He spanked 3 kids with tire jack this week.”

“No, Keri, Honey, and if Daddy would ingest those EREC-7308 Talcum Sensitive Sleep Formula Tablets, there’d be no need to throw at some scarecrows he must have stolen from Milford Valley Vineyards.”

“Folks, it’s like this. A pitcher worth his weight in gold will do what he’s gotta do to protect the plate. And if that means throwing a brushback or two, either at the plate or in bed, then so be it. When was the last time you saw Steve Carlton have to take an early shower because his wife was banging them off the scoreboard at Veteran’s Stadium? Only when he throws some chin music in bed can he keep sex honest. Important in a relationship. And Steve says TAKE THAT Dale Murphy and Bob Horner, you won’t hit another in the Launching Pad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mommy?”

“Yes, Jaime, what is it?”

“The farmer from Milford Valley said he won’t press charges if Daddy will throw the scarecrows in the pickup.”

“I naturally obliged and got a glass of water and took the EREC-7308 Tablets. I not only got a good night’s sleep, I got great sex and no jock itch. And I didn’t have to throw whiffle balls at scarecrows to work up a a sweat. Isn’t it time for you to come clean and get your own scarecrows out of the closet? With proven treatment plans and a first-rate medical team voted #1 by Milford Medical Monthly, your Erecrile Dysfunction will land in the seats because YOU hit the long ball. Come get a tape job today at Milford Men’s Clinic.

Man, every time you Gil that thing you do, I just want to read Marmaduke. This has got to stop.

But God bless you anyway, Gang.

At WDIG recording studio

“I QUIT, MR. WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Gil walks out

“The Thorps are in breach of contract.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. White.”

“Don’t worry, Guy. Gil will have to return to perform at Mudlark Stadium if he wants to coach football. He didn’t read the fine print.”

May 11, 2022

“Know Who Else Had Trouble Handling Balls? My Mom!”

Filed under: actual action, Bad Jokes, baseball, talking hand, Valley Tech — teenchy @ 9:03 am

Today’s baseball history lesson is the story of Bert Shepard. Bert Shepard’s major league career lasted all of one game, a relief pitching stint for the Nationals/Senators on August 4, 1945 against the Red Sox. It was his journey to the bigs that made Bert’s career all the more memorable.

Shepard, a lefty, had played semipro and was playing sandlot ball when he was discovered and signed by the White Sox in 1939. He struggled with control problems, was released, finished high school, and then signed another pro contract in 1941, this time with the Cardinals. In their famed system, Bert again showed flashes of talent at the C and D level but still struggled with control. At the beginning of 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he attended flight school, earned his pilot’s wings and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. In early 1944, Shepard joined the 55th Fighter Group in England and was soon flying P-38 Lightnings over the continent.

On May 21, 1944, Bert was flying his 34th mission over Germany when, after having destroyed a train and an oil tank on a strafing run, his P-38 was taken down by flak. He was knocked unconscious when a shell grazed his chin and his plane hit the ground at full speed. Miraculously, Shepard wasn’t killed, but soon faced another threat when the angry German farmers who found him turned their pitchforks on him. A Luftwaffe doctor, Ladislaus Loidl, and two armed soldiers soon arrived at the scene and held back the farmers at gunpoint.

The Luftwaffe doctors amputated Shepard’s leg 11 inches below the knee. He was later transferred to a prison camp where a Canadian medic fashioned an artificial leg for him. Shepard began playing catch with a cricket ball and then resumed pitching a baseball. In February 1945, Bert was involved in a prisoner exchange and returned to the US. He began practicing baseball with some players from a local semipro team. Realizing that he was still able to throw his familiar pitches, Shepard became determined to resume his professional baseball career. Shepard went to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to be fitted with a new prosthesis, where he was visited by Robert Patterson, the Undersecretary of War, who presented him with a commendation for his service, valor, and courage. Patterson asked Shepard what his goal was, and the former flyer replied he wanted to play baseball. Undersecretary of War Patterson called his good friend Clark Griffith, owner of the Senators, who then offered Shepard a tryout.

Griffith signed him to a major league contract, but had no intention of using him in a regular game, figuring to keep him around to serve as coach and batting practice pitcher. In addition to pitching BP Bert visited veteran’s hospitals, offering encouragement to other wounded veterans, and made a training film for amputees returning from the war. Finally on August 4, with the Nats down 14-2 in the top of the fourth, and the Red Sox with the bases loaded and two out, Washington manager Ossie Bluege brought Shepard in to try and stop the damage. The Nats were playing their fourth consecutive doubleheader, and an already thin pitching staff was getting battered by Boston. Shepard struck out the first batter he faced, George “Catfish” Metkovich. He stayed in the game and, for the remaining five innings, gave up only one run on three hits.

With the Nats battling the Detroit Tigers for the AL pennant in 1945, Bluege was reluctant to use Shepard again. His only other on-field highlight occurred on August 31 when he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross between games of a doubleheader. Washington released him on September 30; he was resigned in 1946 but, with the return of so many pleyrs from the war, Shepard failed to make the team and would never play in the majors again. He would, however, meet Ladislaus Loidl, the Luftwaffe doctor who saved his life, at his home in Austria in 1993.

The reason I’m posting the Bert Shepard Story is because, unlike Gregg Hamm, Shepard could field bunts.

Of course, you need to see bunts to be able to field them but, once fielded, you should be able to make the throw to first. Why Valley Tech baserunner feels the need to share his insights with Scooter is beyond me; he should have saved them for the bench. Now Scooter will have to come up with signals for the Milford infielders to play in for the bunts. His Nolan Ryan reference implies that the Hammmmer will start striking out a bunch of Techsters but still lose the game anyway.

Today’s post title, of course, a reference to Regular Show‘s Muscle Man, who never was able to get the mom joke format down pat.

May 10, 2022

This Darkness That Has No Dawn.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 12:57 pm

Elizabeth Montgomery, famous for her role as the beloved witch and housewife, Samantha Stephens, from the popular TV series, “Bewitched”, wanted to branch out and perform other roles as far away from her character as possible once the series ended. I couldn’t blame her as she she was in several movies and TV shows before she ever cast as Samantha. One example was the Twilight Zone episode, “Two”. Trying to piece together what I remember, she plays an enemy to Charles Bronson’s character in a Cold War-like situation where there is destruction all around that perhaps both sides have inflicted on each other and these two are still going at it ANYWAY, even with little resources, any wherewithal destroyed in the winless conflict. She was chilling in the role, displaying how underrated she was, IMO, as an actress.

Besides the Lizzie Borden movie that brought her long-overdue critical acclaim, she also played a lady, Abigail Foster, that had been in a coma for 20 years after a rare disease when she was 17-years-old in “Between the Darkness and the Dawn”. She is totally unaware that she is now 37-years-old and will have to make the arduous adjustment to life as it is NOW. She is floored, for example, that her high school sweetheart is now married to her younger sister.

Gee, Gil has been in a coma for 60+ years. Is Mimi married to Bobby Howry? Man, Milford has changed. And it doesn’t look like that will change based upon the strip for today. Gil just seems oblivious to Hamm’s problem that keeps coming back and won’t disappear. Coach, that’s what happens when you sweep things under the rug, they come out of the carpet and dribble by you like it’s doing today.

And if we weren’t chasing after so many rabbits that are traversing across the screen every which way, we might actually get somewhere. OMG!!!!!!!! Would I be out of a JOB???? I could get things done. I could go watch my great-nephew run the 3200 at his conference meet today (no worries, my family will keep me posted) . I’d have more time to follow my favorite high school and college teams. The potential.

Suffice it to say, Coach Thorp is still on life-support at Milford General and the doctors are at Milford Country Club picking up where Coach Thorp left off. I think I have job security.

Really, we have plots that are still in the inchoate stage as Scooter’s Statistical Anthology is somewhere nudged in the oak tree with the rsst of the acorns, Ma and Pa Kettle have made sure to bring a shotgun this time in case some Commie tries to bring Pa Kettle back to Siberia, Gil has to go dry-clean his Jordaches, Mr. Benchwarmer is writing a memoir of Ma and Pa Kettle and why Ma stood in the way when ABC Nightline had nothing better to report, and they were in the neighborhood, so while filming Ma Kettle hid Pa Kettle behind the bloodhound so that nobody would discover that Pa Kettle took part in the Bay of Pigs uprising. You can’t let the Revolution know where any traitors are hiding.

And speaking of broadcasting, what the Hell happened to that camcorder Heather Tarbell was lugging around? Did she store it back in the safe deposit box? Along with her mentality? We were ready to be annoyed by her bitchy, confrontational, unwelcome intrusion but it’s like Gil’s mother-in-law coming to the Thorps’ residence and and saying she will be staying the next three months, then jumping on a boat to participate in Bay of Pigs: The Sequel. Another plot in its infancy that still is on life-support with a steady diet of powdered milk. At least Abigail can drink a Diet Coke when she’s filling in the details.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O. J.’s Grandmother Awakens From Slumber After 21 Years In A Coma Due To A Heart Attack!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“It’ll be a culture shock. The Bucket menu has changed. I’ll have to break it to her that Bucket McRib sandwiches are no longer served.”

Okay, okay, Thorpiverse, we get it. He’s blind as a bat and he can’t even catch a foul tip and his Commie-Pinko dad who is withstanding some McCarthy lunatic breathing down his neck is helpless to address the problem. We at least have a couple of runaway plots in the ballpark, pardon the pun. Anybody who has taken I-24 in Tennessee just east of Monteagle surely has seen those runaway ramps that semi’s can use in case the brakes fail, a frequent occurence given the dangerous grade of the slope going downhill. One of my dad’s friends had to use that ramp and it saved his life. Problem was, it took a day and a half to get towed out. But that’s the case with these plots veering in God knows where all over Tennessee and beyond. When we finally manage to flag them down, we’re stuck having to watch Gregg unable to pitch and catch or even play pepper because he can’t see past his glasses and that’s stretching. Watch out for that camcorder, Gregg.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if Heather finally returns but God knows under what capacity. It’s been hit-or-miss with her lately and that’s not a good sign. If Gil’s mother-in-law joins the Contras in Nicaragua, is Heather going to be the guest in the Thorp household in this plot du jour? Just don’t film the toilets because Gil somtimes forgets to wipe. Keep it real and film the family at dinner time. Mimi can bribe the kids to eat all their vegetables at Show Time. The plots will be finally dragged out of the mud and we’ll have it all in camera. Something to show the grandkids.

Gang, these lawsuits are getting ridiculous. There’s an advertisement for contacting an injury lawyer over talcum powder misuse? What does a person do with Johnson’s Baby Powder that would constitute misuse? Use it as a meat tenderizer on a person’s T-bone? Snort it when there’s no cocaine in the drawer? Mix that with Quaker State 10W40 when the car needs an oil change?

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Obtains An Injunction, Milford Superior Court Orders Gold Bond Medicated Powder Removed From The Store Shelves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“When my grandma started getting zits on her butt, I knew it wasn’t from all that World’s Finest Chocolate she’d been eating for dessert.”

Now who’s the idiot who plopped Peter Lorre in here without telling anyone? I liked him better in “Casablana” and “The Maltese Falcon”, not be relegated to Cartoonland where he’s going to vegetate in Rockville. He’s a radio announcer for WDIG? Did Alfred Hitchcock write the script today? How does Hitchcock know anything about Mudlarks? Spent time at Coffee Cantina observing the Milford populace over Choclate Peppermint Latte and a couple House Apple Strudels? He looks tacky in a beard and mustach-oh, THAT’S MARTY MOON!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome back, stranger. He shows up about as much anymore as Peter Lorre or Peter Rabbit. Recently, he had that little power struggle with Bobby Howry over the supremacy of WDIG but Marty deftly lured Howry into sticking his foot in his mouth and the struggle died as quickly as it came to life.

Otherwise, anymore, Marty’s been a lion with no teeth, or in his case, a snake with no fangs. I remember once when Chuck Daly, the architect behind the great Detroit Pistons’ run in the 80’s and 90’s, once said when he was retiring “When I started to enjoy the refs and the media, it was time to get out.” When you actually WELCOME Marty Moon on the scene, it’s time to either phase him out or shed the old snake skin and slither back into the broadcast booth. It’s your move, Thorpiverse.

Otherwise, he’s just another announcer in press row and whoever heard of a snake trying to eat Alpo with the rest of the dogs? I don’t think he’ll be riding with Babar the Elephant and the rest of the family when they go on vacation. Where he’s going to stay when they spend the night at the Marriott. The bathroom sink? And don’t put him in a group photo when they take a family picture at the Grand Canyon. Snakes and elephants really don’t mix in the family album.

With Dr. Pearl blasting Guided By Voices’ “I am a Tree” from her 1909 boom box

“No, Gil, I really couldn’t use Mr. Moon as an office aide.”

“What about for summer school?”

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Able To Get Grandma To Shop At Costco Without A Memory Aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“She remember that stores still sold Jif. Proud of her.”

What possible reason could Marty Moon have for sticking his arm behind his head unlesshecis perhaps aerating his underarms???? I remember when Garry Owen, the unofficial emcee on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, used to cup his hand to his ear whenever he read a copy of news, advertisement, Gil’s next hair appointment, Mudlarks next 3 Valley Conference opponents, Dr. Pearl’s renewed wedding vows with Mr. Dr. Pearl at Milford Interdenominational Fellowship Church, etc. but Marty is not even doing that. Marty, we have Q-Tips if you are contemplating plucking the ear wax out of your ear with your index finger.

Then there’s the soliloquy Marty is engaging in henceforth. He has Gregg Hamm basically pistol-whipping himself the way it’s being described

“Gregg was a dumbass who couldn’t pick up that ping-pong ball and throw to first, though for the life of me what he was even doing out of the grassy part of the infield and how a bunt wound up close to second base is beyond my comprehension but Gregg is using a switchblade on himself and carving himself into 728 pieces after bungling that bunt attempt and allowing the Oakwood player to score an inside-the-park home run on a piss-ass bunt attempt that got caught in the shortstop’s testicles and now he’s using the catchers mask to strike his dental work and all his teeth are strewn out in the dugout and I’d hate to see what would happen if he gave up a grand slam. Nuke himself?”

Over and out, Marty.

Late Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Chemical Plans Strong Counterargument In Joe Sharkey’s Clientele’s Accusations!!!!!!!!! Claims Their Talcum Powder Is Perfectly Safe!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“These frivilous charges that starving children in China contract the mumps when applying Gold Bond Medicated Powder will be dealt with severely by our legal team.”

Nice to know that Gregg got bailed out by Steve Lehto and Nomar “Ramon Somar to you” Ramos and maybe Gregg will have no more eyeballs bouncing around (from Exploding Eyeball Effect, you understand) with the wiffleball that is still being held at large. We should be able to locate both by the time Luhm lays down the tarp.

But is this going to go back and forth, i.e., Gregg loses a few more eyeballs, Pa Hamm gets caught by the French gendarme and shipped back to Devil’s Island to room with Pa Bader and Papillon, Oakwood goes up 18-2, Scooter tells Gil to get his head out of his Jordaches, Milford regains the lead thanks to 4 grand slams and a balk sending a runner home, Gregg loses his retinae, Pa Hamm escapes and gets on a boat with some Haitian refugees and manages to make it by the 5th inning, etc., etc., etc.?

Hope Gil has a closer.

“And that’s the 12th bunt attempt Gregg Hamm has failed to handle cleanly or at all. Where is Coach Thorp when you need him? A rhetorical question if you ask me. While there’s a pitching change made by Scooter Borden, we’ll take time out with the score, Oakwood, 14, Milford, 3. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

At the Thorp household

“Mommy, Daddy is in the bathtub naked but he isn’t waking up.”

“Has he been drinking? I knew he shouldn’t have attended that Faculty Bacchanalian Orgy LoveFest this aftern-OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KERI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALL 9-1-1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Whew!!!!!!!!!! That was a close one!!!!!!!!!!! Hi, this is Joe Sharkey, Injury Attorney, and we have helped Milford citizens recover billions in lost wages and outrageous medical bills, not to mention the distress caused by shoddily manufactured products. Mr. Thorp was applying Johnson’s No More Tears Jock Itch Formulated Powder when he passed out because the fumes overwhelmed him. Misapplied crotches and missing out on coaching responsibilities did not contribute to North Carolina State winning the NCAA Championship when Lorenzo Charles slammed it through.”

“Thank God, my daughter had diarrhea or she might not have caught me in time. I had jock itch something fierce but when I applied the medicine, it smelled odd. I found out later on that Milford Chemical had switched routes on the assembly line belt and that their pesticide applications were being inserted in the Petri dish of the jock itch concoction before they have to send it to the pipette streamer for further distilation. And the Bunsen burners had lipstick smeared on them. Who runs the show, Harold Stassen?”

“Man, that sounds like somebody flunked High School Chemistry Education 101. Does anybody know how to operate the blender that dries the test tubes? We weren’t going to let them be held unaccountable for their negligence. Just because my client had jock itch at rabies level does not signify that Milford Chemical could run wild with their production line. I really wonder if employees use safety goggles when adding dihedraysulfanemethyloxideacetylicbutanehydrogenlithioperoxidephenylthalene to the bowl, a key ingredient to jock itch medicine. You misspell this by one letter and you could contract herpes in a matter of days.”

“I received $4,673,907,247 for the mishap. I was sent a written letter of apology and they fired the cafeteria manager. I will use this money for Keri’s and Jaime’s college scholarship fund. Tuition can get expensive so now I’m covered. Thanks, Joe.”

“You heard the man. What are you waiting for? Filing deadlines for claims are rapidly approaching so unless you have filed before the 15th when the moon is in its half quarter and after they celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on the leap year when daffodils are in full bloom on the day Milford Nursery opens its chickpea garden for the summer before the seasonal workers take their second break, you are SOL. Why delay? Get the money you deserve and live life to the fullest. 1-FON-THE-JAWS. One call, that’s all.”

Now, c’mon, Gang, that is NOT Peter Lorre in P2. I saw him speaking German in some foreign flick so the differences are blatantly apparent. Marty barely knows Pig Latin.

Orherwise, God bless you, Gang.

“Mommy, Daddy is scratching himself bad. Does he have mosquitos around his wee wee?”

“Gil, you picked up the Raid can again, didn’t you?”

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